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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all. After a ride this past weekend I noticed I had a nail in my rear tire when I got home. It was a fairly small nail, about the size of a small needle and was bent in half with only half of it actually in the tire. I removed the nail and could not hear any hissing from air being lost. Its been a few days now and the bike has sat parked in my garage... I haven't had a chance to check my tire pressure but from a visual inspection the tire seems to have not lost any air.

A very small bubble formed in the tread after I removed the nail and as a temporary patch with what I had available, I put a dab of gorilla glue over the hole (the dab you see in the pictures covers more area than the puncture itself which was small). My question is, judging from the pictures, does it look like something I can just get professionally plugged/patched? Or am I out for a new tire? I'm hoping to just get it patched up since I only have 900mi on the tire.



 

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One thing is for sure... you wont be satisfied with the answers you get in this thread because they will be evenly split between "I plugged a tire and rode it another 5,000 miles without incident!" and "Yer gonna DIE!!! ...why risk your life for $150?"
 

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One thing is for sure... you wont be satisfied with the answers you get in this thread because they will be evenly split between "I plugged a tire and rode it another 5,000 miles without incident!" and "Yer gonna DIE!!! ...why risk your life for $150?"
100% agree. That being said you take a risk every time you ride, why make it any larger than need be?

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Personally I'm not going to gamble with my life on a patched or plugged tire at +100 mph, I'd buy a new one.

This 09 is actually the first bike I've had in my last four that I didn't have to replace because of a nail or screw within the first few hundred miles of owning the bike. I guess my luck has changed with the 09.
 

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For your reading pleasure

...and for future reference, try to spray some soapy water on a nail before pulling it or messing with it.



It will help you determine if the object has truly punctured the tire more accurately than just listening for a hiss.
 

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x2 on What Lucky Devil said, soapier the better. Sorry about the nail, there is a solution for everything.

As far as the nail goes - anytime a tire carcass is compromised from heat, punctures, and/or impacts, it affects the integrity of the whole tire. I personally would not ride on a tire that I knew was not 100% up to the task of spinning thousands of revolutions, while under stress from all angles. Hell, with the deal Dunlop has going on now's a great time to get a nail! Hehe just kidding. Replace it if ya can, cheap insurance in my book.
 

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Like Lucky devil said, it will be a mix of reactions. Mine is from the other side of things.

I found a nail in the rear tire some 1500 miles back. I did a quick plug (old style string type) in somewhat dark conditions- so it wasn't perfect. I even slimed the inside to prevent fast leaks. Tire pressure goes down about 10PSI every 7-10 days. I wanted to change tires but apart from losing air gradually, there was no other issue that I was facing. The dealer was closed the day that i wanted to service the bike and patch the tire, so went on a 600 mile trip, constantly checking the pressure and looking for the first signs of trouble. I came back and the tires just lost a bit of pressure (I filled them up once to be safe), even with occasional 80-90mph bursts on the highway. Since the tires have nearly 5k miles, I will be getting new ones (probably Pilot4s) even though the treads still look good on the stock Bridgestones!
And yes, I have ridden a plugged tire (done by a professional mech with the same string type plug) for more miles (with Slime in them as well) than this one on my previous bikes- and neither did I lose air, nor did it ever put me in a pickle. Even rode bikes with patched tube tires with no issues. And I ride every single day of the year (almost) so keeping an eye is paramount.

It's all calculated risk- but I don't subscribe to the "got a nail, replace tire" philosophy. I have ridden plugged/patched tires for many miles on different road conditions and speeds. And there are thousands like me out there. Just keep checking how the tire is reacting- if you sense trouble, change them. But not everybody can afford to change tires every time a nail finds a home in them. It's wasteful and unnecessary- I have never heard of tire blowouts happening because a tire was plugged or patched- usually they happened due to a manufacturing defect in the tire itself.
 

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I got a nail at 600m.. I went about it the proper way, by removing the tire, buying a mushroom plug, did all the prep work, installing it from the inside, and its been fine since i put it in, never loosing a single PSI. I'll keep running the bike as normal until the tire wears down enough to warrant a replacement..
 

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If it is not leaking air, then it is not punctured.
 

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perhaps worse, since the thickness is now compromised.... You could have a half a mm of rubber between you and a blowout... I would repair it with the proper cement and mushroom plug from the inside.. yep its a hassle, but you dont' wanna have a blowout at.......ahem the legal speed limit.
 

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It created a bubble because it compromised the tire carcass. It's between the tread, but it's on the part of the tire you are stressing the most. You may be able to plug it - but I would replace it. If I were still working at a shop I wouldn't let you ride it off the lot.
 

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In the picture, the nail looks to be in a wear indicator. Is that the bubble you refer to?
Rotate the tire looking at the tread and you will see more like it. That is, if I am seeing what I think I see in the pic.
While not ideal, I have patched a few tires from inside with no issue....If there is truly a bubble then I wouldn't consider a patch of any kind.
 
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I'd love to see you try.... I'd be having you arrested real quick.


It created a bubble because it compromised the tire carcass. It's between the tread, but it's on the part of the tire you are stressing the most. You may be able to plug it - but I would replace it. If I were still working at a shop I wouldn't let you ride it off the lot.
 

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Im in the plugging camp...just watch your air pressure, and plug it if you start seeing loss of pressure.

or get a new tire...its up to you :confused::cool:
 

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I love tubeless tires. Why? Because unlike tube tires that go boom and deflate instantly then just slowly leak so even if the nail punched clear through just keep an eye on its pressure and you should be fine. Over the years I have plenty of both. To be honest if that little nail never went clear through it is probably totally safe. However (ain't there always one of those) from now on every time you got for a ride you are going to double check the tire and be thinking about it every time you ride over 60mph. If money is tight let it be otherwise jut bite the bullet and get a new tire.
 

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I would plug it to get home... but then get a new tire as soon as possible. thank god tires are kinda cheap.

I wonder what Burt Munro would say about a nail in the tire.
 
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got a nail in my rear tire when it was practically brand new (under 500 miles). plugged it. 3500+ miles later, it doesn't leak a bit of air. i don't worry about it at all when riding - there are plenty of other far more pressing and dangerous things to be concentrating on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In the picture, the nail looks to be in a wear indicator. Is that the bubble you refer to?
Rotate the tire looking at the tread and you will see more like it. That is, if I am seeing what I think I see in the pic.
While not ideal, I have patched a few tires from inside with no issue....If there is truly a bubble then I wouldn't consider a patch of any kind.
You actually hit the nail (no pun intended) on the head. I haven't had a chance to update this thread but it turns out, you are correct, it is a normal "bump" or tire wear indicator as you say, in the tire. I checked the rest of the tire and those bumps are a normal part of the bridgestone battlax s20 tire... it does not appear to be a bubble like I originally thought. Additionally, I haven't noticed any air loss since I started the thread and I've been checking it every day. At this time I think everything is OK and it did not do any damage or cause a deep enough puncture to leak air.

Pic of where I pulled out the nail:



Pic of another part of the tire showing the same bump:

 

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Look along the sidewall of most tires and right where it meets the tread are regularly-spaced "markers". Some are simply little triangles, Michelin has even used tiny "Bib" guys. LOL
Logo

They may even have T.W.I. beside them depending upon the brand.
Anyhow, follow directly across the face of the tread to the nearest groove and you will find a tread wear indicator "bump" down in a groove like you see in the above photos. I'd peel the gorilla glue off, inflate the tire to 45psi, apply soapy water and wait. No bubbles? No problem. Bubbles? Get a tire. After watching a new Metzeler nearly cut a nail in half within 5 miles, I don't trust a plug in a radial tire more than it would take me to get it home. My $0.02
 
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